cakesgimmecakes

cakesgimmecakes 10 months off Prozac, an update

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Hey, Survivors,

I hope you're doing well. I keep you ALL in my thoughts every single day.

 

I'm almost a year off my last taper of Prozac (you can see my signature for the nearly 15-year roller coaster that only got bad about 6 years ago).

 

I have more windows than waves now. I'm feeling more like "me" every day, and I can't put into words how much I enjoy being in my own mind again and not under the haze and cloudiness of an antidepressant. I'm more me than I've been in 16 years, and it's weird and crazy and fun and pleasant. I get emotional about it sometimes, because it's such a gift to be off the poison.

 

My remaining withdrawal symptoms are:

 

Complete and total havoc of my female reproductive system, which is most likely caused by adrenals that are still recovering from being WAY TOO worked during my taper. My cortisol is only just starting to come down to Earth. This has caused low T3 in my thyroid, which has led to my female hormone problems and digestion problems (I'm constantly fighting off Candida even though I have not had refined sugar anything in 5 years -- I'm not exaggerating either). My sleep is ok. Some nights are good, some are bad. The worst symptom I have is constant pounding heart and weird anxiety right after I eat (anything -- even foods I've tested as not being intolerant/sensitive/allergic to). I think the pounding heart has to do with (take your pick!): low T3, screwy progesterone or estrogen (or both), blood sugar spiking from something adrenal related (I don't have diabetes or anything, though). I hope the heart nonsense goes away because it's so unpleasant and I did not have it until month 3 off Prozac and after I started and stopped a thyroid med (my ferritin iron is too low to tolerate ANY thyroid meds). I'm eating nutritiously, exercising about 4 days a week, and I take Vit B6, magnesium, vit C, iron, and a little cod liver oil. I'm low on vit d, but vit d supps are too stimulating; they give me mild anxiety and insomnia. :/

 

I'm utilizing CBT and meditation. I'm doing something I love and remaining SOCIALLY ACTIVE. No more isolating and ruminating. Those two behaviors always lead me down to Pittsville (where, NO, Brad isn't mayor!).

 

I'll update again at my one-year mark. I seemed to have turned a good corner at month 9. Months 6, 7, 8, were a bit tough, but I survived. We are all "surviving antidepressants."

 

I'm not 100%. Know that. Nope. But I wanted to share my story so as to give you hope. I do feel there is a light at the end of all our tunnels.

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Hi, did you total sleep time each night gradually improve from the 6 month mark to where you are at now?

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My sleep improved, yes. I'll have 6-hour streaks. Or it'll be 5 and 3, or 4 and 4. One night about a month ago I slept 7 hours straight! Also, I'm sleeping more heavy now, whereas a few months ago my sleep was extremely light.

 

I do think it's my hormones all out of whack. A cascade of issues from withdrawal.

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Congratulations! ????So happy for you, it's a tough road but it does has slow improvement for better, month after month. I am almost 14 month off med, and for the past 2 month felt a great shift, noticable improvement overall. Healing happening, it just takes time. Slowly but surely it is happening. I think about it and it makes me genuinely happy that there is a way out of this nightmare. And I lived trough it and so many of us. It's a great hope for people who is tapering, people who is not taking medicine any longer! Just believe and be patient, continue working hard on the ways to better yourself in every area of your life, don't grow weary.

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My sleep improved, yes. I'll have 6-hour streaks. Or it'll be 5 and 3, or 4 and 4. One night about a month ago I slept 7 hours straight! Also, I'm sleeping more heavy now, whereas a few months ago my sleep was extremely light.

 

I do think it's my hormones all out of whack. A cascade of issues from withdrawal.

 

This is awesome news. Glad you are doing better and have the energy to socialize!

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You said it, Orchid. It's a lesson (ha - "lesson" is an understatement) to pay attention to our health -- all our health. Can't get complacent about it.

 

I've said this from the start: HOPE is everything. Patience is as well. Thank goodness for everyone here, assisting and encouraging and providing real help that doctors never, ever could. In some ways, I owe my life to this board. There were some DARK times....

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Congratulations to your success getting off the poison and nice healing!

So happy for you!

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Thank you, NoMoreAds and Lex. The support is life saving. Not an exaggeration. Healing vibes to you.

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Congrats on your recovery!!! Maybe look into SIBO and healing the gut. Withdrawals has a way of making our gi tract sluggish. I am currently treating with Allimax to kill the bacteria in small intestine and then heal the gut lining thereafter. Should help with the receptors in the gi system.

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Hi!

 

The withdrawal and the drug itself has messed up my sex hormones and they do interfere with my thyroid hormones as well. After every drop I get very clear hypothyroid symptoms (water retention ect.) and I feel like thyroid medication stops working. (I have Hashimotos.)  But hypo symptoms ease up the longer I stay on the same dose. I believe your adrenal and thyroid issues are temporary and in time your body will recover from the stress. Do you have any hormonal medications? How long did it take for you to taper off antidepressant? To me it looks like you tapered very fast and yet you are having more windows than waves :)

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Tootsie - I treated positive for SIBO 7 years ago. I've taken rifaximin 3 times, and I'm currently on a leaky gut protocol. Abstaining from Advil for my menstruel cramps has helped heal me a lot (meanwhile I nearly croak from pain because Tylenol ain't no Advil, amirite?). I also did the Paleo Autoimmune protocol for 30 days. The gut stuff I think is thyroid related, but then again with SIBO 7 years ago, I think Prozac has been messing with my GI health for a very long time.

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Reachingforthrstars - I can't tolerate thyroid meds (the T3 pools and I get INCREDIBLE heart pounding). The pooling is happening because I'm low on ferritin (correcting that now, but the iron pills feed the Candida -- *sigh* such a vicious cycle). Also, my adrenals can't take the increase in metabolic energy because my adrenals are stewed from Prozac withdrawal. I'm in the school of approach in which I'm letting my system settle itself, homeostasis, because EVERY TIME I attempt a new drug, new supp, I get adverse reactions. My body communicates. And we all know this with withdrawal. It says NO. So.....patience. Weird that years ago I could take Naturethroid for 2 years. Now? No. My last taper took 10 months, with a 1 mg drop every month. I was reacting poorly to Prozac at that time, which never happened to me before. My cortisol was tested during my taper (saliva) and it was triple the regular amount. With high cortisol for 10 months, literally probably 2 hours of sleep on top of that, I think the stress put my entire body over the edge, and that takes time to recover from. Stress does VERY bad things. So, meditation is very important to my healing, as well as mindfulness. Being mindful not to give a **** about things that aren't essential. Because in all honesty, that's how life should be lived: low stress. Prozac use and then withdrawal taught me MANY things, but one of the main lessons has been to live one day at a time. Fearing withdrawal will last forever causes more subliminal stress than anything. Stress is no one's friend.

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Tootsie - I treated positive for SIBO 7 years ago. I've taken rifaximin 3 times, and I'm currently on a leaky gut protocol. Abstaining from Advil for my menstruel cramps has helped heal me a lot (meanwhile I nearly croak from pain because Tylenol ain't no Advil, amirite?). I also did the Paleo Autoimmune protocol for 30 days. The gut stuff I think is thyroid related, but then again with SIBO 7 years ago, I think Prozac has been messing with my GI health for a very long time.

If this is the case, I'm worried i've had SIBO undiagnosed for years. Oy vay this will take some patience to treat. I took some berberine and neem last night and my white tongue cleared up but boy did I feel like crap. I read that SIBO/leaky gut causes very low iron because we can't absorb it. I am tremendously low in iron plus i bleed so much during my periods. Which resulted in the D&C procedure. Didn't help, so my hormones must be messed. Strange considering my hashimotos antibodies came down from 500 to 150 and it's still not curbing the bleeding. look into Selenium and Iodoral for your thyroid issues.

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Tootsie, white tongue is Candida related (it's thrush). Having SIBO and Candida together is common with leaky gut.

 

It's been a solid 6 months of me treating the Candida. It always comes back. Low carbing does not work and frankly I was asking for trouble with that because low carbing made me weepy and lethargic and it's bad for the thyroid. I'm happier with carbs. I avoid gluten, eggs, dairy and refined sugar.

 

I hope all settles the longer I'm off Prozac and my body reaches homeostasis. Stress reduction I think is my ticket to Healthyland - but not on an express bus. Nothing is fast in AD withdrawal.

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OH! And killing off Candida and SIBO does cause one to feel like hell until the toxins are flushed out!

 

Getting my ferritin up right now is a priority. I don't think we can say brand names here, but I use a ferrous fumarate supp from Amazon that doesn't constipate me. I take it with food-source vit c. Yes, chronic SIBO and Candida leads to poor nutrient absorption.

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I also treated candida with a lot of diflucan and it didn't seem to make a difference. If these herbs work for both candida AND sibo, i'm in for a double whammy.

 

For the Iron, I may look into IV iron in the near future. Nothing like putting iron right where it needs to be lol. I hope with time, these issues resolve for you and all of us. Sometimes the best thing to do is just wait.

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You are so right, Tootsie. In a strange way, it's comforting to know I'm not the only one who has the Candida/SIBO thing around here.

 

My cycle is driving me NUTS today! Small panick attacks all night long, and I don't have a ZRT saliva Lab kit to test if I'm high on estrogen or low or high on prog or low. The silver lining is that I can calm myself very, very well from the anxiety: "This is just hormones. It will pass. Let's think about some cute doggies until we fall back asleep." Works every time. Never feed the anxiety monster!

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Did you think that rifaximin affected your mood at all? Were you more irritable and distressed when you were on Riflaximin? My daughter has been very nasty, irritable and snapping at me all week while she's here for a 5 day visit. We finally had a huge blowout last night. I am very upset. Has she been this nasty because of the medication do you think? I have no clue why everything I think say and do pisses her off so much. 

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Hi, Silver Star, sorry you're experiencing that with your daughter. I wasn't moody or nasty; HOWEVER, when you're killing off the nasties in your body, some people react poorly. The dying off process produces so many toxins that need to be flushed out, and it can cause mental reactions. Milk thistle tea and charcoal and bentonite clay can speed along the toxin-carrying-out process.

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Thank you for your reply,  cakesgimmecakes.

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Take a look at glutamime for leaky gut...it was something I came across on bodybuilding.com.

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DSS,

 Is L-glutamine and glutamine the same. She has started taking L-glutamine. I hope it helps. Her doctor is now sending her for am MRI...

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So good to see you doing well Cakes!

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Christian! I've tried to message you, but it says you can't accept any messages. How are you doing? I think of you often.

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Hi Cakes,

 

Glad to hear you're healing. I know that I have a whole bunch of hormonal issues too; high prolactin, low T3, high cortisol although unconfirmed (although I gain weight so incredibly easily), leptin/ghrelin...ugh. I'm just curious how you're doing now, if since your last post 2 months ago if there's any change for the better? I'm honestly terrified my endocrine system will never recover (granted I'm still tapering), and being worn out/gaining lots of weight/etc. is really starting to get me...

 

Best wishes!

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Hello, everyone (Hi, rowinghippy - so sorry for my delay; just seeing this right now).

 

You guys -- funny, right now the song on my Pandora is "Crazy" (Alanis Morrisette version). Funny, right? If you listen to the lyrics...

 

I'm giving my 13.5 month OFF PROZAC update here.

 

My system is currently extremely thrown off because I've tried once again to take thyroid meds (I have low T3 -- T3 is the most important thyroid hormone -- most doctors ignorantly only test TSH, which is NOT a good measure of thyroid health). My adrenals just can't handle it. I feel positively horrific -- terrible palps, hypoglycemia, INSOMNIA, nausea. Hopefully in a week, a lot of this will settle.

 

Outside of this setback: I think like most of us who are recovering from our touching the SSRI poison, I don't handle stress well. My adrenals took a HUGE HUGE HUGE hit with my going off and on Prozac so many times.

 

Overall, I don't feel depressed. I'm busy in grad school right now, and I think it's being so busy and mentally distracted that has kept depression at bay. I also walk a ton (in NYC now). My anxiety is all but gone, but I occasionally I get some, and it's usually related to poor sleep, which I experience quite a bit lately. When I sleep, I feel almost back to myself inside my head. My body is still recuperating in terms of adrenals, and right now I'm trying like the dickens to raise my FERRITIN IRON, which affects T3 in your thyroid (if you guys aren't aware, there's tons of research that low T3 causes tons of jazz but for us it can cause depression and anxiety. This leads me to believe that SO MANY people are put on psych drugs when in fact their thyroid isn't working properly -- most doctors don't even test T3! I recommend the web site stop the thyroid madness dot com to learn more).  

 

My last symptom of SSRI withdrawal is insomnia. It gets OK sometimes, but then it flares and it's brutal. It flares from stress -- too much exercise or eating something too stimulating (I haven't had caffeine in 7 years, but something like chocolate can stimulate me right into insomnia -- it's so stupid and crazy and pisses me off). I'm in a bad sleep spell right now because I jacked around with thyroid meds again (sending my adrenals into TOTAL overhaul -- ugh, high cortisol feels horrific...but then low cortisol does too). I wanted to pass along something that could help, but it's buyer beware because I'm unsure of the long-term adrenal damage this causes: taking the anti-fungal DIFLUCAN lowers cortisol for about a month after a 150 mg dosage. When I was in the deep throes of my withdrawal (taper), I took one pill because I had candida pretty bad and I remember sleeping pretty OK for about a month (it lowered my high nighttime cortisol). So...do with that what you will.

 

I hope you're all well. My heart is with all you. Even if you don't believe in higher powers or anything spiritual out there helping you, know that I put energy out there that's healing for you. I know --- I sound like I still live in kooky Los Angeles! Ha. Anyway, what I'm saying is that PEOPLE CARE about YOU and you might feel alone, but YOU ARE NOT. Hang in there. You will MAKE IT. The body has this incredible ability to heal itself. I didn't think I'd have my creativity or mind back, but they're back. There was a time I wanted to die (not commit suicide -- but just be dead, and this was extremely scary to feel). I don't feel that anymore. Therefore, I know the majority of Prozac's hold on my mind is gone. Withdrawal is A LIAR, it's a TAUNTER, it's TEMPORARY. Don't believe everything you think! If I did, I'd be six feet under right now. 

 

I'll update again around the 18-month mark (which is when most of us make a pretty good turn -- here's hoping). 

 

Current supplements:

Iron

Vit D

B6

a little bit of a B complex (pretty stimulating if I do more)

Magnesium (CALM brand -- others stimulate me, go figure)

Zinc

Kelp - Iodine (a little -- I don't need to detox, as that's tough on the body and we need to be GENTLE)

Selenium

Vit C

Cod liver oil

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Hi Cakes, I've also been getting terrible anxiety and pounding heart after eating. So much so that I cry and feel ****. I think there is a reactive hypoglycaemia which triggers cortisol to be released to try and manage glucose Levels. If your cortisol levels are already high it would explain the extra anxiety. I've gone on a low gi diet and will start taking Phosphatidylserine to help lower cortisol.

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Hi, pinkslippers. Yes, I know all too well that anxiety after eating. It's really miserable. I never had these problems EVER. I, too, am lowering my gi intake to control the blood sugar spikes. Exercise also helps. My potassium also falls, and I have HORRIFIC heart palps until my potassium supplement kicks in. I've had this before when my thyroid med thing went awry, and it eventually settles down.

 

XO

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Hi, pinkslippers. Yes, I know all too well that anxiety after eating. It's really miserable. I never had these problems EVER. I, too, am lowering my gi intake to control the blood sugar spikes. Exercise also helps. My potassium also falls, and I have HORRIFIC heart palps until my potassium supplement kicks in. I've had this before when my thyroid med thing went awry, and it eventually settles down.

 

XO

How do you know if your potassium drops?? I am curious if this is an issue for me.

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Simply anecdotally. I know my adrenals are stressed to the hilt and that alderosterone is an adrenal hormone that controls the balance of potassium and sodium. When it's high, as when you're stressed, your potassium goes low. My heart POUNDS, my face feels puffy and hot, I feel hot, and I feel extremely unwell and weak. I take potassium and the symptoms abate. When I am less stressed, I don't get these potassium drops as often. My system is very stressed right now because I tried to take thyroid meds without enough ferritin iron and the T3 in the meds pooled in my blood and wreaked havoc. VERY unpleasant.

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Hi, pinkslippers. Yes, I know all too well that anxiety after eating. It's really miserable. I never had these problems EVER. I, too, am lowering my gi intake to control the blood sugar spikes. Exercise also helps. My potassium also falls, and I have HORRIFIC heart palps until my potassium supplement kicks in. I've had this before when my thyroid med thing went awry, and it eventually settles down.

 

XO

 

Hi Cakes, thank you for your reply :)  good tip about the potassium, I will look into the possibility that my potassium may be too low.  Ii'm finding the last few days I've had fewer episodes after eating, I hope it continues. God it's just criminal that you were given fluoxetine for PMS...I was given Prozac for mild exhaustion after the birth of my daughter, which my doc convinced me ( and I convinced myself) was postnatal depression.  NOW i know it wasn't depression.  

 

Hugs

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Simply anecdotally. I know my adrenals are stressed to the hilt and that alderosterone is an adrenal hormone that controls the balance of potassium and sodium. When it's high, as when you're stressed, your potassium goes low. My heart POUNDS, my face feels puffy and hot, I feel hot, and I feel extremely unwell and weak. I take potassium and the symptoms abate. When I am less stressed, I don't get these potassium drops as often. My system is very stressed right now because I tried to take thyroid meds without enough ferritin iron and the T3 in the meds pooled in my blood and wreaked havoc. VERY unpleasant.

When I was suffering from adrenal fatigue, I came across people using himalayan salts for their conditions. At the time, I put it on the back burner and with recent research due to your post I realize it has potassium in it. Maybe you can give this a try.

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Hi, toots and pink -

 

Salt makes me a 100 times worse -- drives down potassium. I think that's helpful for LOW adrenal hormones. Mine are HIGH.

 

Pink - one of the topics I've had to cover many times in therapy is getting over my anger about taking fluox for PMS. Sometimes I indulge in the fantasy of what my life would be like today had I never saw that doctor or had that conversation or filled that script or swallowed that first pill (which I still remember to this day). Note that I had NO IDEA Sarafem was Prozac or an SSRI. I've come far from being enraged at what happened to me (you're not far off with "criminal") to acceptance. This is part of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): modulating thoughts so they don't engulf us and get us depressed.

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Hi, toots and pink -

 

Salt makes me a 100 times worse -- drives down potassium. I think that's helpful for LOW adrenal hormones. Mine are HIGH.

 

Pink - one of the topics I've had to cover many times in therapy is getting over my anger about taking fluox for PMS. Sometimes I indulge in the fantasy of what my life would be like today had I never saw that doctor or had that conversation or filled that script or swallowed that first pill (which I still remember to this day). Note that I had NO IDEA Sarafem was Prozac or an SSRI. I've come far from being enraged at what happened to me (you're not far off with "criminal") to acceptance. This is part of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): modulating thoughts so they don't engulf us and get us depressed.

 

Oh sorry I did mean the Himalayan salts which are higher in Potassium and lower in salt content compared to other salts.  Are you sensitive to sea salt too?

 

Also do you find therapy helpful? I'm debating regular talk therapy or CBT.

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Hi, toots and pink -

 

Salt makes me a 100 times worse -- drives down potassium. I think that's helpful for LOW adrenal hormones. Mine are HIGH.

 

Pink - one of the topics I've had to cover many times in therapy is getting over my anger about taking fluox for PMS. Sometimes I indulge in the fantasy of what my life would be like today had I never saw that doctor or had that conversation or filled that script or swallowed that first pill (which I still remember to this day). Note that I had NO IDEA Sarafem was Prozac or an SSRI. I've come far from being enraged at what happened to me (you're not far off with "criminal") to acceptance. This is part of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): modulating thoughts so they don't engulf us and get us depressed.

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Hi, toots and pink -

 

Salt makes me a 100 times worse -- drives down potassium. I think that's helpful for LOW adrenal hormones. Mine are HIGH.

 

Pink - one of the topics I've had to cover many times in therapy is getting over my anger about taking fluox for PMS. Sometimes I indulge in the fantasy of what my life would be like today had I never saw that doctor or had that conversation or filled that script or swallowed that first pill (which I still remember to this day). Note that I had NO IDEA Sarafem was Prozac or an SSRI. I've come far from being enraged at what happened to me (you're not far off with "criminal") to acceptance. This is part of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): modulating thoughts so they don't engulf us and get us depressed.

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